Friday, August 9, 2013

Sunday Chat: The Importance of Education (Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaj)

Mallorca, August 4, 2013

All of us are looking for an alliance that provides us the guidance to become true guardians of Mother Earth and all its beings. By searching for answers to the questions of how to improve education, we can realize the reality in today's society is: plagued by consumerism and materialism that only causes suffering in the people. That's where the proposal for a conscious and holistic education based on people's faith arises; for faith is the basic mechanism for consciousness to function properly. If a person's faith is misguided, so is his conscience and his actions. An example:

For the body to live you need air and water. If the air and water are polluted, the person can not have good health; in the same way, if a person's faith is contaminated, it is impossible to have a good conscience. The air and water must be pure, must be kept protected in its natural state. Likewise, faith must be protected and kept pure. We're not talking about fundamentalist impositions of religious belief, but to appreciate the glorious and beautiful lessons that we have received, for it is only through appreciation that we feel the natural enthusiasm to become good citizens, responsible persons, guardians of those who surround us.

All this must be considered in the basics of education of the people. And when the system fails at some level we must stop and analyze what these failures correspond to and cleanse or "purge" these failures. For this, the Oida therapy has worked in "purging of ill consciousness" which are tests that people can do in order to decontaminate faith or remove the distortions of faith. Such distortions of faith also physically manifest themselves in stress, which is the result of a unhealthy competitive mind. That competitive mindset is not healthy nor does it promote the welfare of all. But if we apply universal values ​​seeking the benefit of all beings, one can begin to correct all errors that the neo-colonialist system has permeated into society.

Here is a very important issue. Someone might ask: How can we measure faith?

It's very simple, you just have to assess your happiness and that of those around you. The happiness of the people in your environment means: the happiness that you produce for the people who are around you. The basis of our analysis is an essential way to improve education now and in the future. Personally, I'm just a humble pilgrim, but I've been linked to education in different ways over the past 40 years.

Speaking of education does not only refer to young children in schools. While that is the basis for being responsible in the future, we must think about educating children today. Education also applies to the different stages of life, especially in a society like ours where we can see the lack of education in fundamental and universal values.

The term "educator" is therefore not only the profile of a school teacher, history, geography, etc., but a teacher who is able to guide others in learning to be complete. The educator is someone very important. Teachers should be of the highest level of spiritual and emotional balance, being harmonious and consistent people.

The term "spirituality" is very broad and it is important to clarify. It refers to an understanding of the environment and the interaction of the environment, which is free of materialism and where a spiritual model applicably meets life in a harmonious, conscious, creative and constructive manner, which is carried by the appreciation one has for everything in their life.

The term "appreciate" is based on the principle of having the capacity to see and appreciate all that is surrounding oneself and receive the beauty that pervades everything: The river, the waterfall, the mountains, all that nourishes us with inner values.

A "guardian" is a spiritual being away from the materialistic concept of life, who is interested in everything around him and appreciates all and not just that, but who works to protect it all: protecting people from the lack of awareness and to educate them about protecting the planet from the impact of all the damages that are caused to Mother Earth today: Chemicals, GMO, exploitation, trash, ruthless killing of animals, etc.

Education in this profound educational model is based on the observation of the great and generous phenomenon that we have received and it is through having a connection in faith with the Infinite.

We have a connection through the physical realm through the air, as we discussed in the beginning. How important is air? It allows us to have a connection with life, just as the same happens with water, the earth ... basic elements of physical life. Just as the air is essential for physical life, faith is essential to the development of consciousness.

Without faith it is impossible to walk, without faith a baby cannot be fed from the mother's breast. I can not learn without faith; without faith I can not accept responsibility...
Even people who say they do not have faith, they have faith that they have none. It's just a mental mechanism, nothing more. Faith is the tool that allows you to connect both the relative, the rational, and that which is essential.

The rational consciousness, emotional, and spiritual, corresponds to the three areas that makes a person complete and become aware. A teacher or teachers who do not develop these three aspects can not fully educate others. A teacher who does not have a good moral conduct, which goes hand in hand with the universal values, ​​can not be called an educator. Someone who only focuses on material achievements, in selfishness, money, etc, can not encourage others in the joy, the hope, the confidence, the spirit of sacrifice, etc.

Education is a new paradigm which proposes to deal with faith in the same way that we deal with air and water. What does this mean? That water and air are vital, and must be kept pure, for contaminated water and air can kill a person. Therefore we use water purifiers or air purifiers, do we not? Then, in the same way that we ensure that the air and water remain clean, we must work so that our faith is pure, clean of the materialistic influences.

There are many variations in contaminated faith: Faith distorted, misdirected faith, etc., but nevertheless we cannot say that faith is bad. Just as we cannot say that air is bad because in a city it has been contaminated. The air is pure in nature, but man has been responsible for its contamination. Faith by nature is also pure.

The possibility of making a quantum leap from matter to spirit is through faith. We're talking about basic faith: in the male or female divinity, on Mother Earth (or Pachamama, Mother Bhumi), in the wisdom of our ancestors. The Faith education is a response to three streams:

1. A secular education which was born in submission to the materialistic and consumerist system.

2. A fascist fundamentalism that imposed an ideology of fear, where people are not able to think or create because they must adapt to a specific model.

3. The educational sectarianism and the religiousness posed: my concept of God is the best of all and those who follow him are saved or go to heaven and those who do not go to hell.

This is an approach that divides all to such an extent that people have decided to live without religion, to the point of denying even faith, regardless of how essential it is for the development of consciousness, beyond any religion.

Humanity needs to find this new paradigm of purification of faith, so it is not fanatical, not sectarian; a non-institutionalized concept of power, a faith that brings appreciativeness of the results. As Jesus said, "The tree is known by its fruits", in the same way we must think:
What fruits do we want to bring and teach to humanity?
What should be the goals of a healthy education, a healthy faith?

The basic purpose of a person's interaction with others and their environment is: Act in the same way that you want others to act with you. Do not do to others what you would not like done to you. The educator must be able to deliver to others all the wisdom he has received in the same way that someone would teach them. This is a point that does not exist in the interests of a fascist education, as an educator or teacher in a fascist line should refer only to teaching a curriculum that has been received in advance which is full of faults and critical errors.

A single employee is not an educator. A true teacher is a servant of truth, love, law, spirituality, free from contamination. For this, we have the right to question, analyze, understand. If we do not have that right, then we are only part of a system that is unable to satisfy ourselves as a human society and who have to follow paradigms that are not fulfilling but are required (consciously or unconsciously) to be practiced, and now comes the errors:

People are intoxicated, they become indifferent, lazy, criminals, etc. We need to educate people in happiness, to realize that all members can be valuable to the world, so that our children can leave school full of positive expectations, so they are cheerful, enthusiastic, grateful, motivated to help those who have been fallen, to support the afflicted, to make everyone feel real and useful as members of society. There, the Education opens a new subject: Appreciation of Universal Love, or rather: Appreciation of all the beauty that exists. Educate them with love and not fear, so that people can appreciate the incredible gift we have received with this human life.

The Indian sages say brahma athāto jijnasa. That this human form of life should be led to inquire about the knowledge of the Infinite and thus, love for everyone else. In the theistic concept is said, because of the love of God, the person loves everything that is inseparably a part of God's creation. However, on the contrary, people try to appreciate and love each person individually, and this can only generate exclusivity and limiting concepts, competence and separation. There is no appreciation that we are a great universal family, let alone is there talk about identification with the problems of others.

Faith education promotes growth and advancement, but never harms others.
The growth and advancement of a person based on the suffering of others (whether they be human, animal or the environment) is part of a selfish concept where nothing matters more than material achievements of a few. We deeply understand the main point of education: The responsibility of each one of the people for the welfare of humanity. How can we educate others on this responsibility? On based teachings such as the "natural law of action and reaction", that every action of a person has an equal and opposite reaction.

The accountability to our actions and reactions is critical. If someone commits a bad action, naturally there is a reaction coming from that very action which will have similar characteristics.

So when a person is educated on the concepts of unfair competition, who is opportunistic and ignorant of the law of action and reaction, the result is loss of common values ​​and happiness of oneself. The goal of each competition is increasing the positive virtues of the people. Vying for the cleanest, the kindest, the protection of animals, that which promotes healthy values the most.

The children are so enthusiastic and capable that automatically they can be involved in healthy competitions where they feel like a responsible party in a benefiting society. Today's society is in great danger from all the chemicals that are poured into the Mother Earth after unfair competition, materialistic and selfish needs. Only education and the development of consciousness on these issues can save us from the reactions that are coming for the damage to our Mother Nature.

It is never too late to start changing the future. The base is in education which allows us to reclaim faith in its pure state. Everything is in our hands.

I appreciate the participation of all of you today, I hope you feel a part of this great task of promoting education in faith for the people.

Jay Srila Prabhupada.

Your always well wisher,

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